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I had a small, close-knit, group of high school girls at Camp Rejoice. I believe that I was able to help them see that they are now leaders at camp as well as in other areas of their life, and with that role comes responsibility to lead with high values. They voiced how they were not ready for this role, but came around VERY quickly. They went from being the giggly girls who whisper throughout evening worship service, to ones who were attentive and sat with those outside their small friend group. Bible study often led to open conversations about faith and growing up.
(I was helping a younger camper try to climb the wall for the first time) Every few steps he would stop for a few minutes and didn’t think he could get to the top. I kept encouraging him to keep climbing and not give up. All the other kids started cheering for him, and the staff were there yelling for him as well. After about a half hour, he finally, finally, FINALLY made it to the top. It was extremely rewarding and a great example of never giving up and what teamwork and positive encouragement can really do. I will remember that forever.
The experience that I think really affected some campers this year was senior night at camp rejoice. Once worship was over that night, a bunch of the younger girl campers came up to me while they had tears running down their faces. I asked them why they were crying, and they said that they never wanted to leave Kirkmont and they didn’t want to wait a whole year to come back. Listening to what the seniors learned really affected these younger campers, and they wanted to be leaders like the seniors were. As sad as it was that the week was ending, that moment was so comforting to me, because it meant that we were doing our jobs correctly and passionately. It meant that we were successful as summer staff and that the kids wanted to come back. That there was a future for Kirkmont. It was wonderful knowing that these kids felt affected by their one week at camp.